My Paradise Vacation on Dead Island

Posted by & filed under Game Culture Class, Game Journal.

The game I have chosen to write about is Dead Island. My only prior knowledge of this game is as follows: it takes place on an island (obvious enough?), there are zombies on this island (that’s the ‘Dead’ part), it is an open-world game developed by a company called Deep Silver. Being that this is the first of many journals, I will keep it short and just write about my earliest impressions.

The first thing I see after putting the disc into my console is the introductory cutscene. This cutscene was originally part of the trailer that debuted at E3 2011. (It can be found here if you are interested in seeing it, the part from the game is from 0:48 to 1:26.) This scene does a pretty good job of providing a ‘before’ perspective, and also of piquing my interest. This scene ends with the game logo being shown, it simply says “Dead Island” in bloodied letters, with a man hanging from a palm tree taking the place of an ‘I’. Gruesome, nice.

The main menu really adds to the gruesome feel of this game as well. The buttons for continue, new game, options, etc. are displayed over an underwater image of blood slowly filling a pool , until almost the entire screen is a transparent red. Upon selecting new game I am given the option of choosing one of four different characters to play as. They are as follows: Logan, a quarterback who is an expert with throwing weapons, Purna, the ex-cop who is a firearms expert, Xian, the sharp weapon expert, and finally Sam B, a rapper who is an expert with blunt weapons. Deep Silver did this menu in an in interesting way because instead of choosing from names on the screen you actually saw all 4 characters surrounding a truck in a sort of defensive stance. Something I didn’t like here, however, is that their animations for standing and breathing seem exaggerated to the point where you can see all 4 characters are doing this at the same time it gives the illusion that they’re all on a very rocky boat for the first time, it’s kind of distracting.

I’ve chosen to play as Purna and after listening to her story about being a half-aborigine woman who is currently working in a society ruled by men as a bodyguard for these “rich assholes,” I can begin the game. I’ve decided that this is where I’m going to stop writing for now, and next week I’ll be ranting writing about some of Dead Island’s gameplay mechanics.

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